I learned a big new word today: “defenestrate.” It sounds super cool, and it means “to throw out of a window; or a swift dismissal or expulsion.”
And what, may you ask, does this have to do with a movie review? The Green Zone is a politically-based, action war movie that re-teams Matt Damon with the Bourne series director Paul Greengrass. Do I want to see a movie depicting the reality of modern-day war? No thanks. How about a film that showcases the scary and disheartening complications of worldwide political power struggles? Pass. I like to keep my naive belief in a microcosm of suburban security intact, thank you very much. So I entered the theatre ready to defenestrate The Green Zone.
I am not what you would call politically savvy — which makes the fact that I saw this movie with a beloved local politician all the more interesting. As the movie began, I kept leaning over and whispering, “See, this is why I don’t read the newspaper.” “Can you imagine living somewhere that just going to the grocery store can put you in the line of fire?” But as the movie began to unfold, I was riveted.
The complexities of war: good guys verses bad guys, good guys verses good guys, who said what, what to believe, what do you believe in, who’s wrong here … good Lord, my head was spinning. Good thing I had a smart and savvy woman next to me to smooth out some of the details. Throw in some amazing action and a hero to die for (or, in this case, one willing to die for us) and you come out with a dynamite experience.
Unfortunately, I learned a lot in this movie. “Don’t be naive” was a recurring theme. While naïveté can be nice and cozy, sometimes seeing the world for what it is can be empowering. I don’t mean to get carried away. It’s not like Matt Damon created world peace. I just liked that he fought for it.
The Green Zone was based on the rip-roaring reality of a true-to-life war, but it also was constructed from a fictitious storyline. As it progressed, I kept wondering how it would be wrapped up neatly. I couldn’t imagine the last scene showing our hero drinking a beer safely at home in his backyard. It doesn’t, but it is still amazing. The Green Zone reminds us that war is not pretty. Good thing Matt Damon is.